a london chronicle
....Now it was pointed out to me the example of a Professor C____ who had constructed a low, strong tower that overlooked the passage into the Southern entrance of this great city. In building his fortress, C. had spared no expense, and it was bedecked with crenellations, murder holes, embrasures, and merlons to such an extent as to provide this Professor an invulnerable parapet overlooking the crowded road below.
C. used this perch, or battlement, not to hurl hot oil, or arrows or bolts....but instead to hurl insults on those who passed beneath. And, as the gate it overlooked was quite popular with the literate and scholarly class, who used it to pass to and from their various assemblages and lectures, C. was kept quite busy antagonizing those who passed below.
In particular, our Professor enjoyed making sport of the appearance of the bookish passers by: their hats, their shoes, their carriage, their aspect and even their sundry physiognomies were not spared his bitter barbs, which he hurled with great aim and diligence, taking care to make sure that his targets might smart from his thick, yet mordant, wit.
I was told that scholars had got used to scurrying past this baleful tower and its occupant...and that no one had ever stopped to knock on the gate, or to ask him why he felt the need to barricade himself inside...which C. must have found quite sad and strange....for when he was not hurling invective, our professor made himself quite busy from the top of his bulwark delivering lectures intended for the popular folk .
Unfortunately, it proved very difficult for the public to make out what C. was saying from atop his lonely escarpment...and very few if any of his intended students could make out much of what was taught...for, in contrast to his career as a critic, C. tended to mumble his lectures and lose himself in digressions whose flights of fancy and history were known only to him.
Alas, my guide told me, here on the Southern gate of this great Town was the world's smallest and saddest University....a fortress for One, under which the Many scampered. I did not pause to knock on its forbidding door, and counted myself lucky to slip into the city unnoticed by its occupent....
from Darby's Journey into London, and other tales of Alacrity and Woe, 1754